Hello everybody, I am Ahmed Tahé Allala, the Country Representative for Tunisia in the Rotaract Mediterranean MDIO, a MedTimes journalist, and, above all, a Rotaractor. Today I am going to take you on a trip through the summer of 2021, one of the toughest summers survived by Tunisians.
It is the beginning of July 2021 and Tunisia just broke its own record about the new daily cases of Covid infections, which almost reached an astonishing number of ten thousand confirmed positive tests per day! Now, for a small country like ours, that is a big deal. And soon enough, drastic measures were taken: the curfew’s starting hour was moved from 21:00 to 19:00, and it was made to last up until 05:00, rendering us literally unable to do anything besides moving from our homes to our workplaces and back. And, unfortunately for me, that was exactly when my summer holidays started, so I found myself stuck at home instead of enjoying a chilled cocktail on the beach or swimming endlessly in the blue sea of Hammamet. This seemed to be going on forever, especially after the previous ten months of curfew. We’ve had a tough year and we only had the summer to cheer us up. But now, we can’t even enjoy our country’s beautiful beaches and landscapes. Thankfully, we started to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and we still had some fun to catch up to.
Fast forward to the 8th of August 2021. The First National Vaccination Day against Covid-19 took place nationwide, in more than three hundred schools. Doctors and medical students, nurses and nursing students, pharmacists, laboratory technicians… They all volunteered to make it a successful day where more than five hundred fifty one thousand people received their first shot of the coronavirus vaccine. That would be about 5% of the country’s entire population. It was such an achievement and a success that two other Vaccination Days were organised on the 15th and the 29th of August for different age groups. And one month after those days, the same people were invited again to receive their second shots. Thanks to this intensive campaign, we gathered more than one million and six hundred thousand Tunisian residents who have been or will soon be fully vaccinated. It seems that these nationwide campaigns will keep on going on and will target each time a certain group of professionals or a certain age range. The results were evident: after more than 30% of the population of Tunisia got fully vaccinated, the death toll plummeted from more than two hundred people per day to less than twenty. It really seems now that going back to our old normal life is no longer a sci-fi daydream but a tangible reality for Tunisians.
It goes without saying that Rotaract Clubs in Tunisia could not not lend a hand in these National Campaigns. Their members helped organise the venues, they kept people in lines and queues, they registered them and gave them the right directions. Putting ourselves at the Service of our communities just comes naturally to us Rotaractors! They were there for the whole twelve-hour shifts, tirelessly helping out their own country to get out of this hardship. And I was personally present in four of these Vaccination Days, making sure there were no adverse reactions to the vaccines and even injecting the doses from time to time. The feeling of self-fulfillment and self-satisfaction was truly out of this world! It did not matter that, every time, I went home exhausted, because I knew that it was all for the greater good and for the good of my country.
In the meantime, please be safe and get your vaccine as soon as possible!